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Couple crosses country in Cruze making only four fuel stops

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NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - The country was not the United States, and the Cruze was not the standard gasoline powered model, but the new diesel Cruze made in Lordstown, Ohio.

Garry Sowerby and Lisa Calvi are not your standard couple either. They are both veteran automotive adventurers, journalists and bloggers based in Canada.

21 News caught up with them via phone on Friday during a jaunt to Niagara Falls to ask them about their recent 3,780 mile trip from British Columbia to Nova Scotia.

The pair set out with a goal of driving coast to coast in fewer than eight days, not driving faster than the speed limit while using the least amount of fuel possible.

They also wanted to use a car you can buy right off the showroom floor.

Garry says they chose the diesel Cruze powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged clean diesel engine because they wanted make the trip driving a stock, production model that is available for sale in Canada.  Chevrolet says the vehicle is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid car on the market.

With the type of driving anticipated, Garry didn't believe that driving a hybrid vehicle would provide an advantage.

Lisa says that she and Garry left Vancouver on August 22 driving a production model 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. The pair arrived in Halifax on August 30 only stopping for fuel four times.

Each time they filled the tank, it cost about $60 CDN ($57.50 USD). They figure total fuel costs for the cross country trip was under $300 U.S. dollars.

Lisa says they had no trouble finding diesel fuel, and the price was not that much different per liter compared to that of gasoline.

When they completed the trip, the couple had set a new fuel efficiency record for driving a non-hybrid, production model car across Canada.

Driving at an average speed at just under 50 miles per hour, the fuel consumption of the diesel Cruze averaged 55.87 miles per gallon. 

Although the two didn't make side trips to see the sights, Lisa says they enjoyed taking time to talk with people along the way. An additional advantage of obeying the speed limit said Lisa, "You don't have to worry about the police."

Asked if he would buy a diesel Cruze for himself, Sowerby told 21 News, "I would if I were looking for that kind of car. It's quiet and balanced on the road. If you close the windows, you wouldn't know you were driving a diesel."

The Lordstown made Cruze diesel model is expected to be introduced into auto showrooms in the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys this month.

Lisa Calvi speaks three languages and has been an automotive journalist and blogger for three years.

Garry Sowerby  is a columnist for the Halifax Herald newspaper and the author of a book entitled Sowerby's Road… Adventures of a Driven Mind. He holds four world driving records.

You can find more about their adventures on the road at adventuredrive.ca.

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